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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2013)

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Us 14, Oklahoma 13, Massachusetts 10, John Boehner 9, Elizabeth Warren 8, Afghanistan 8, U.s. 7, North Carolina 6, Ohio 5, Ayotte 4, America 4, Texas 4, Washington 4, Albuquerque 3, Jeff Merkley 3, Kelly Ayotte 3, Bush 2, Mary Fallon 2, Splenda 2, Chuck Hagel 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2013)  

    November 21, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00am PST  

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terrible job running the city. you want to extend compassion outward, versus putting it in the other direction, that is the real challenge at this moment. that is "all in" for this evening, thank you for joining us. >> i was so hammered, chris, good evening, i didn't know what i was doing. >> one of your drunken stupors. >> exactly, took the words out of my mouth. very excited to tell you our first guest tonight is elizabeth warren, a senator from massachusetts who is making democrats do back flips over the effect she is having on the democratic party, and she could be a big part of the next round of national democratic leadership for 2016 and beyond.
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senator elizabeth warren is our guest live in just a moment. and in washington, though, this was the remarkable scene outside the home of republican house speaker john boehner early this morning. it is dark in these images because it started before dawn on the sidewalk in front of his house on capitol hill. and it carried on into the early morning light this morning. as young activists were bold enough to go to john boehner's doorstep to try to increase the pressure for him to allow a vote on immigration reform. this footage is from nbc latino, which covered the action this morning. >> what we're protesting here -- >> the reason why is because we have the vote for immigration reform. there is still time left in the calendar, in the congressional calendar. and the only thing stopping us is him. >> it is true that the same immigration bill that passed the united states senate probably would pass in the house, too, if speaker boehner put it up for a vote.
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but he will not put it up for a vote. this group today set up a thanksgiving table in front of speaker boehner's house in the early hours of the morning. they set up place settings, and as one young man spoke, he said the speaker should imagine what it is like for him, this young man, to not be able to have thanksgiving with his father next week. because for the first time he is not able to do that. and the reason he is not able to do that is because his father has just been deported. this is the same group of very bold young activists who have staged other emotional protests on this issue to show that immigration is not just an issue of political calculation and economics. it is a policy that quite literally splits families apart, forcing children and parents to be forcibly separated from one another. these young people raised in the united states are reaching through the border fences at nogales to see their mothers beyond the fence. and the only way they can see
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them is because our immigration system is so dysfunctional. it is the same group of citizens that made the same spontaneous decision to just sit down in front of a bus in phoenix, arizona a few weeks ago. peaceful, but fairly radical to stop that massive deportation. and the people in the bus crying, holding up their shackles, while the parents and kids sitting in front of the bus also cried and sang and waited themselves to be arrested. the votes are there, actually, to pass immigration reform. and it has already passed the senate with lots of republicans voting for it. and of course, the president would sign it. but it is the house republicans who will not let that happen. speaker john boehner personally will not let that happen. and so these emotional protests not only continue but they are getting more and more intimately focused on the republican
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leaders in the house, who actually are the only reason why this policy is not changing. why this long awaited reform is not happening. speaker john boehner eats breakfast every morning at the same diner in washington, d.c. it is not a secret he does it. it is supposed to be one of the charmingly down to earth things we don't know about him. forget the tanning and the golfing, look, he eats grits. but with him standing in front of immigration reform and the kids organizing for reform, and being so bold and emotionally compelling in their appeals it probably was just a matter of time before john boehner sitting there at the diner had a spectacularly articulate latina 13-year-old, telling him very politely as he was eating his grits, her father was being deported, and please wouldn't he allow a vote. and there they were again talking to his windows in the
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pre-dawn gloaming, and setting that sad thanksgiving table out on the sidewalk. and once they left john boehner's house this morning they went to eric cantor's office at the capital, where 11 of them were arrested for peaceful civil disobedience, it would be one thing if they were trying to get republicans to do things that republicans just say they don't want to do. if these guys were protesting for let's say, abortion rights or a progressive tax system or something else that republicans just flat out say they do not want then what these kids were doing could still be an interesting act of political expression, but it really wouldn't have any suspense to it. the reason it is so compelling is because in the case of immigration, republicans theoretically say they want to
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help, after they lost so badly in the last election, the party would have to say yes to immigration reform. they say they want it. today after the protesters were arrested at his office, eric cantor continued to pay lip service to the idea, saying he agrees, sure, they should stay. he is even maybe working on a bill like that some day. but the bill that would let that happen, one that already passed the senate, ready to go, he and john boehner would not let that go to a vote, even though it would likely pass. yesterday, john boehner said he would consent to passing immigration reform the way the republicanings say they want to do it, he would be all right with doing one piece at a time. >> democrats want to do comprehensive reform, republicans want to do step by step reform.
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it is a poisonous political reform, can you make it happen? >> i am actually optimistic we'll get this done. i'm -- but i am an optimist, i have to be, i'm named barack obama and became president, and won twice. so look, keep in mind first of all that what was said here was absolutely right. this is a boost to our economy. they're suspicious of comprehensive bills, but you know what? if they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, i don't care what it looks like as long as it is actually delivering on those core values that we talk about. >> the latest state of objection from house republicans as to why they wouldn't do immigration is that they wanted to do it piece by piece instead of one bill.
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that was the last objection they had, the last thing they could use to explain why they hadn't done it. after that interview with the wall street journal, they said okay, we'll do it that way. regardless, no signs that the republicans are going to do it that way at all. and now, john boehner, even if he wanted to hit his favorite morning diner he would probably hit another heart-rending 13-year-old when he got there. last night, steven colbert hosted the man who came in second during the presidential run. rick santorum, they talked about mr. santorum's new hollywood movie studio. and then the conversation turned to how conservatives, how republicans could ever appeal to latino voters. >> yeah, go ahead, give it up for going forward. okay, the new movie is called "the christmas candle."
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so it is a town with a miraculous set of candles -- >> not really. >> there is no miraculous candles? >> there is a candle that is blessed, every 25 years the angel comes and blesses the town. >> just like in the bible? >> not exactly. this candle is given to somebody who is in need, and a miracle happens to that family. it is a beautiful story. >> so it is not a miraculous candle. >> the candle is not miraculous, but the prayer that is said, given the instructions, light it and pray. so it is not the candle that is the miracle, but it is the answer to prayer that is the miracle. >> i can accept that. >> you know, it is not like voodoo stuff. this is a real prayer. >> miraculous candles is not voodoo, it is hanukkah. okay?
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>> so we're both catholics, okay? you're probably the most famous catholic politician, i'm the most famous catholic on television. can we talk about the hispanic vote for a second? they're catholics, we're catholics, why can't conservatives reach out to the hispanics for the pete's sake, the pope, the pope is an hispanic now. doesn't that kind of make us hispanic ourselves? >> somewhat. you know, by the -- >> he is our father. >> he is our holy father, so can we reach out to them on social issues? >> absolutely. that is one of the things i said with republicans who say i want to abandon the issues, the way we can reach out to a large segment of the minority population is through social issues where there is common agreement on those biblical issues. >> the transitive power of poping. i don't know how that works.
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but the long-held republican theory which was voiced on colbert, that theory it would come to republicans, as long as the republicans stay really hard core on social conservatism. that theory, it got a test last night in new mexico, where the 47% latino voting population of albuquerque, new mexico was treated by social conservatives to a super divisive, super intense, super city-wide anti-abortion referendum. albuquerque just had an election last month and got 70,000 people to turn out for the mayor's race. last night for the abortion ban they got 17,000 more people to show up and vote. and the abortion ban lost badly, a bit of a blowout. it lost by ten points. this was a test case for the long-held republican view that the republicans don't need to change anything about what they're offering in terms of policy. they can count on a latino electorate turning out for their
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side of things if they stay really hard core on abortion. turns out that in a test lab for that in albuquerque, that test was a failure. so is there anything new under the sun from republicans? they keep telling themselves they definitely don't have to change, that everybody else is going to come around to their way of thinking? is there anything new from them on offer? today in ohio, the legislature passed the "stand your ground" gun law, releasing the efforts on background checks and gun laws, and george zimmerman, nice timing on that one, republicans today. republicans today passed new restrictions on voting rights. these were the lines to vote in ohio in 2004, lines up to ten hours long to vote in ohio in the presidential election in 2004. ohio did not have lines like this in the two presidential elections after that.
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because after 2004, the state instituted changes, like this is not a hypothetical thing in ohio. the state has a really recent history of it being terribly difficult to vote in heavily populated democratic parts of the state. it was really bad in 2004, and they fixed that problem by making changes like expanding early voting so the lines would not be so long on election day. about a third of ohio voted early last year. it is much easier to do that. and the fact that so many people like early voting and are thereby finding it hard to go to elections, today people of ohio voted to cut back the voting by six days, voting to end the six-day registration, to make it harder if you have to cast a provisional ballot. and they're making it harder if you have to wait at the polls. do you hope your state
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legislator will start to go and vote and make the process of voting a lot harder and slower for you? congratulations, if you voted for a republican you got what you paid for. the republican voter in north carolina was on today on msnbc, chuck asked him about the law he signed to dramatically roll back voting lines in north carolina, much the same that ohio moved toward today. when chuck asked governor mccrory why he and other people of north carolina voted to cut several days out of early voting in north carolina, the governor responded by saying you know, they're not cutting early voting. really, he says they were compacting the calendar. compacting the calendar. try that on your boss the next time your late. hey, i'm not late, i'm just compacting the work day, in north carolina, they're
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compacting several days on the number of days in which you can early vote. they're just making it more compressed. it is a denser calendar. you want to see a magic duck appear on my desk? look, the magic duck, i compacted duck season this year so it fit on my desk, bang. it is just amazing, but you know what, it also feels like deja vu, in the republican party in the states, around washington, it is deja news. and the abortion bill that just failed by ten points, they want to run on the abortion bill. they're holding the line in the face of immense pressure on immigration reform, standing up
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against gay laws, and with the anti-discrimination law. they're moving even more aggressively than they did in 2012 to roll back voting rights in north carolina, ohio, texas, everywhere they're in control. if they move on to anything in congress other than opposing health reform, which is the only thing they say is definitely on their agenda right now the next thing down the pipe, the next thing to expect from them is to let paul ryan introduce another republican budget plan. which if it is like the republican budget plan will have the knives out to gut medicare and maybe social security. it is deja vu, the same list of offerings by the republican party they have been giving the public in the last two elections, no to health reform, no to immigration, no to election rights.
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it worked great. no to health reform, no to immigration, no the gay rights, and maybe we'll see, no to medicare and no to social security and medicare. it is all the same. from one side all the same. what is interesting is the other side. where the change is on the other side of the aisle, yes, on the democratic side there are things that are the same. the democrats are saying yes to health reform, yes to immigration, and gay rights, mounting a defense to reproductive rights and now, they're adding something new, where both the white house and the democratic bench, the up and comers in congress and in the states, they are going back to a place they have you not -- they have not been in a while and for which the republicans have no answer. that is economic populism, yesterday, the blue state in massachusetts voted to raise their minimum wage to 11 an
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hour, in new jersey, they voted to raise that minimum wage after the democratic governor passed it. after the president proposed raising the federal minimum wage back at the beginning of the year in his state of the union address, all of a sudden, the democrats said we're on this, we think we can get it passed maybe before the end of the year. and then there is a big kahuna, after fighting for the agenda, the republicans' threat to privatize social security, to do away it, cut it back, now all of a sudden the democrats have found their sea legs. now they are not fighting with republicans anymore about how much of a cut is too much of a cut. they are fighting not to cut social security but to expand it. to make things better for seniors, and instead of fighting with republicans about how much worse they're going to be allowed to make things. whether or not massachusetts
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senator elizabeth warren is a candidate for the democratic nomination for president, against hillary clinton or not, regardless of the presidential politics but mindful of them too, her brand of economic populism and the brand of bernie sanders and sherrod brown, and the brand of other democrats on these issues, the republican party is stuck on pause, on the democratic side they are doing something new. economic populism on the offensive. and elizabeth warren is our guest next. i love that just washed freshness, but then it goes to the closet...to die. so try new glow unstopables. they fill your closet with scents so fresh they last for 12 weeks! downy unstopables. try with downy infusions.
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my next guest is democratic senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts, she will be here live. that is next, stay with us.
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the people of new jersey have spoken and they want a raise. last night, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to raise the minimum wage by a dollar an hour. >> i am an optimist. i have to be, i'm barack obama, i ran for president. >> and won. >> and won twice. so look, keep in mind first of all that what the ceos here said here is absolutely right. this is a boost to our economy. >> president obama this week making the case that immigration reform should happen because it would be a good economic step forward for the country. the voters of the state of new jersey just a couple of weeks ago making the case that people who make minimum wage ought to get paid more. that that would be good economically for new jersey. the state senate in massachusetts today voting that massachusetts should move to a
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state-wide 11 dollar an hour minimum wage, because that would be good economically for the state of massachusetts. and this week in the united states senate, senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts made a widely circulated senate floor speech, making the case that the era of fighting about cutting social security is over. and now it is time to talk about expanding social security. at the very least, that used to be beltway heresy. senator warren now joins us, senator, thank you for joining us, nice to have you. >> it is good to be here. >> so why now? why do you think now is the time to talk about this when all we've heard from the very serious people in the beltway forever is that it is time to cut it. >> because it is time to talk about reality. you know, america's middle class has been hammered for a generation now. so adjusted for inflation, the wages of the middle class family have gone down. and yet, core expenses, housing,
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health care, sending kids to college have all shot through the roof. families cut back as best they could. they sent two people into the work force if they had a two-person household. and yet families couldn't make it. so they stopped saving. they went into debt. and now, as they're starting to hit their retirement years what we're seeing are seniors who are really in a financial squeeze. they have more debt. they don't have savings, they owe money on their homes. the old defined pension plans that help protect them from their employers, about 35% of the work force had them a generation ago. now we've cut that in half. so they're really under a squeeze, and what they have got is social security. so now we've got an america where about two thirds of all seniors count on social security as their main form of income. and for 14 million americans,
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social security is all that stands between them and poverty. we have a retirement crisis in america. this is no time, this is the last time to be talking about cutting social security. this is the moment when we talk about expanding social security. >> are you talking about a narrowly targeted expansion that would specifically try to steer more benefits towards seniors in need. seniors at the lowest end of the economic spectrum, or do you think this should be a broad, across the board rise even to seniors who were better off? >> yeah, i think what we have to watch is we have to think about two things on social security. the first one is, we absolutely need to make the system secure over a long period of time. and i really want to stop for a second and drill on that. because we have to remember all the folks who talk about cutting social security, always start with the fact that hey, listen, it is just terrible what is happening with social security.
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it is not. if we did nothing to social security, we go 20 years paying at the same rate. and then after that we drop roughly about a quarter and pay all the way to the end of the 21st century. so what that tells us, we can make modest adjustments to social security and we could level it out so that we would be able the protect the benefits we've got. but then is the time to start thinking beyond that. and it is to think about all the americans who depend on social security. remember where i started this, rachel. two thirds of seniors right now are counting on social security for their main income. we have to think about a broad approach to this. >> the types of tweaks that it would take to make the program fiscally sound in the very, very long-term that you're talking about, i'm assuming the basic one is raising the cap at which after which rich people stop
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paying their social security taxes. so people at the higher end of the economic spectrum just pay their social security taxes for a larger proportion of their income. that always seemed like a very simple fix to me, why has it always been very politically radioactive. >> what is interesting to me, social security, fixing it when you get to the long-term, when you remember how close it is now to working all the rest of the 21st century, there are a lot of fairly modest changes you could make. you identify one of them. another is how you bring more people into the system so there are more payers into social security. another is how you change some of the questions where parts of it are bleeding out that should not. there are a lot of different dials you could turn on getting social security levelled back
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out just a little. that is really all it takes. what is interesting to me is why we haven't focused on that. why the conversation started with cutting benefits. that was always the direction it went. and i just think it is fundamentally wrong. we need to have a different conversation. we need to have a sensible economic conversation about how to do it. it is not that hard. but what we also need to do is remember, this is partly about math. but it is partly about our values. this is about what kind of a people we are, what kind of a country we are trying to build. i believe fundamentally, we are a people who believe that anyone should be able to retire with dignity. and that is what social security is about. people who work all their lives and pay into it should have a minimum level that they don't fall underneath, that is good economics. but the point is, it is who we are. it is the kind of country we are building. >> that argument that you are making about our american values, but also what you want to fight for politically, is -- i know you don't want to have
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this conversation but it is why people are talking about you as a national figure and not just a senator from massachusetts and the democratic party. i'm not going to ask you the question about whether or not you want to run, but do you believe the types of values you articulate are the future of the democratic party. do you feel at home in the democratic party? or do you feel like your fight is partly with your own side to get your fellow democrats to make these issues a priority? >> i think this is our moment. i think we have come to understand that you know, america changes much of the time. it is in increments. it is in small pieces. but we truly have come to the crossroads now. and there are two very different visions of how we build a future. the republicans have made theirs clear. you know, you protect those at the very top. you make sure they have got the maximum number of loopholes and subsidies. and everyone is, so be it. in other words, their vision is,
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i got mine, the rest of you are on your own. our vision is different. it says that we really do make these investments together. and when we make these investments together, we build a strong future. not just for some of us. but for all of us. the pieces are tied together. we're here tonight to talk about social security. and that is what i want to attack about. i'm glad to fight for it. but remember, the pieces we're talking about are tied together. it is about fighting for education. our kids who are being crushed by student loan debt. it is, it is about fighting for the minimum wage. it is about fighting for dignity when people retire. it is about fighting for a world that we build together because we believe that when we do that, we all got a better chance. we've all got a fighting chance to make something. and that is what we'll do. >> senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts, thank you very much, very much for your time tonight. always good to have you, ma'am, thank you very much.
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>> good to be here. something you will not believe happened in the great state of oklahoma today. and i bet you believe a lot of good things can happen in the great state of oklahoma, don't you? we'll be right back. i'm only in my 60's. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him.
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and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is.
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as of right now, five u.s. states are openly defying orders from the defense department. they're defying orders from the defense department because they want to discriminate against certain members of the united states military. and the pentagon is telling them not to do that. but now one of those states has come up with an extra special way to fix the problem, by making it 100 times worse for everyone. stay tuned, more ahead. in congress, they chart out [ male announcer ] wildlife rescue workers open up a lot of dawn --
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[ female announcer ] just about anywhere you use sugar, you can use splenda® no calorie sweetener. splenda® lets you experience the joy of sugar without all the calories. think sugar, say splenda™ in congress, they chart out the easel so often, there is a blog screening them into action, so don't worry, the maps have been rescued from floor obscurity. don't worry, that one is going
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to be around forever, at least on line, and notice all the empty seats there. it is lonely out there for the guy. every once in a while, charts require human help. do you remember back on the campaign trail, poor mitt romney had to sign a campaign staffer to the job of just holding that chair steady? props are hard. now watch this guy. on the senate floor yesterday trying to help out new hampshire senate republican kelly ayotte. >> if we lose our valuable in connection with -- information to protect our country, here is the problem we face. here is the current head of al-qaeda. >> that guy, whoever he is, is an unsung hero of congressional chart display. now look, the first one goes up.
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al-qaeda guy number one has made it to the easel, okay, the boss is reaching for the second guy, quick, get the first guy out of there, now grand finale, bring back the first guy, second chart is still there, first chart now on top. come on now, stick the landing, wow, who is the guy popping out of your head there? it is like holiday on ice. this guy is great. last, though, senator ayotte lost that vote, she got the charts right, except for the part that osama bin laden looked like mini me, she endured a real failure in the senate. in that failure, which was both unexpected and pretty spectacular, senator ayotte made big news, she managed to lighten up something new where washington stands on a really important issue and what might be possible now that nobody thought was possible before. as you know, president obama has
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been trying to close the prison that we keep in cuba, the one in guantanamo, since his first day in office he signed the order saying we would shut it down. not just republicans in congress who have blocked them. in 2009, when congress took a vote, the senate took a vote. the vote was 90-6. in the new defense spending bill, though, in the military budget that is being debated right now in congress, part of that bill opens the way to actually closing the prisons down. if people are not threats, send them back to their own countries. if people are threats, send them back to their own country. are we just waiting until they get hold enough that they die? is that the policy? well, closing down guantanamo is what senator ayotte was trying to stop yesterday with all the charts and the helpful staffer. and maybe it was that old 90-6 votes four years ago that led
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her astray, maybe she just made an accounting mistake, i don't know. but kelly ayotte brought up trying to keep guantanamo going indefinitely. and it lost, it only got 43 votes. and that ends up being way more interesting than i think the senator expected it to be, because what her mistake proved, just in bringing that thing up and seeing it go down with such a bad vote, what it proved is that a majority in congress doesn't feel the same way about guantanamo that they used to. senator ayotte just proved through her failure yesterday that congress is way more ready to shut this thing down than they have ever been in the 90-6 pass. and if congress has changed on the question of guantanamo, what is to say they have not changed more than that? yesterday's richard engel obtained and posted this draft agreement between the american government and the afghanistan government, calling for an enduring military presence in
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afghanistan long after 2014 when u.s. troops were supposed to come home. richard reporting yesterday that in the draft agreement, in a sense, the war in afghanistan just starts all over again. albeit on a smaller scale but with a time frame that stretches past 2024. richard telling us here is struck him that the afghan government convening a loya jirga. then today, nbc news reported that a bipartisan group of senators is going to bring their own amendment to the defense budget that would require a congressional signoff on any extension of the u.s. troop commitment in afghanistan past 2014. and look at this coalition, sponsoring the idea of there
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being a time line in afghanistan that congress has to vote on. republican rand paul, obviously both from the far right, democrats ron widen and jeff merkley, both from the list, also joe manchin, from the land of smack dab in the middle. john mccain is never going to vote for something like that. kelly ayotte is never going to vote for something like that. guess who might say yes? bedfellows are getting stranger than ever on subjects like this. the senate, now as of this week is going to try to stop keeping guantanamo open. might they actually try to put an end to the war? joining me now is democratic senator jeff merkley of oregon, senator, thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome, rachel, great to be with you. >> so it seems to me you are on to something here, even though it may be unpopular. do you think the senate has changed enough to support this idea?
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>> well, i absolutely do. the idea that we'll extend this war another ten years, make a commitment to have perhaps 7 to 12,000 troops during that period. to spend at least another $50 million, that is understating it by a factor of two. to do it without any form of a congressional dialogue to say yes, this makes sense, i think it is a bipartisan sense that absolutely congress should weigh in. and by the way, the u.s. house of representatives voted on this back in june, approving it 305. you finally found something both the house and senate can say yes to. >> i was just going to point that out. on every other issue in the world, when the senate gets close to doing something, unexpected from conservative ways in the past, in this case the house has already jumped. they considered the same issue. the bed fellows are really strange on this. i wonder if it makes you feel like the sort of beltway common wisdom.
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the way this stuff is thought of being impossible to happen. if you think that is out dated -- >> well, i think in this situation you do have both the grass roots on the right and the left saying enough is enough. let's have a fundamental debate about what commitments we make. i mean, we realize that al-qaeda is everywhere. they're not just in afghanistan. in fact, very few are in afghanistan. we need to meet the terrorist threat where it is, not necessarily lock ourselves into one country, another decade, by the way, an extraordinarily corrupt country, a country where we have tremendous challenge of afghan soldiers shooting american soldiers. tremendous challenges of cultural understanding, communication. a lot has gone wrong in this presence. and the idea we'll make another ten-year commitment of this fashion without a congressional debate, i just think people say enough is enough, let's reevaluate. mr. president.
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come back to congress and ask for authority by the middle of next year before we make this kind of commitment. >> i have to ask you, this is a little weird given the subject, but i have to ask you about something that happened on "the tonight show," with jay leno, specifically because jay leno asked former president george w. bush, it is a short clip, but i want your reaction to what george bush said. >> do you think we'll be there a long time like korea? >> i hope so i don't know how big the foot print needs to be, but if we leave too early, women and young girls will suffer a lot. and then the question is does it matter to our conscience, and i think it should. >> president bush says he hopes we stay there a long time and he thinks that the u.s. troop presence is good for women in afghanistan. i have to ask if you think that helps or hurts you in making your case here? >> well, i think president bush is arguing for the perpetual war.
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and i think there are members of the senate that argue for the same. once anywhere in the world, they will say stay there, build the permanent bases, they want to continue the bases and the presence. and let's face it. this is a huge opportunity cost in terms of american troops that can do other good things in the world elsewhere. there is a huge cost in terms of dollars that are spent. we have huge infrastructure demands that would put people to work and prepare the infrastructure for the next generation. we have huge education demands. i love the conversation you had with elizabeth warren. talking about one of them, our kids can't afford to go to college. puts a big aspirational goal that the country should have for children. and a fairly large country in territory, but a small country
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in terms of numbers, half way around the world we have to re-think these types of things. they shouldn't be an automatic let's add another decade to what has already been the longest war in american history. >> senator jeff merkley, i think you have a better chance with this than the beltway press is giving you credit for. thank you, senator. >> great to be with you. >> all right, we'll be right back.
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today the conservative state government in oklahoma made a strong case that they should become really nationally famous really, really fast. oklahoma made a decision today so stunning that for a big part of the day i almost could not believe it was real, and it was one of those far right groups trying to punk us into covering a story that we never should have believed in the first place. but we called oklahoma, we checked it out. it's real. they really did it and that story is next. [ female announcer ] we give you relief from your cold symptoms. you give them the giggles. tylenol cold® helps relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol cold®. progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there? yes. no.
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several states today are refusing to issue these i.d. cards to same-sex spouses at national guard facilities. this is wrong. it causes division among our
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ranks, and it futhers prejudice, which dod has fought to extinguish. >> secretary of defense chuck hagel came to new york late last month and he called out nine states that were defying orders from the u.s. department of defense. he called out those states where national guard facilities were refusing equal treatment to some married couples in the u.s. military and demanded those states get their "bleep" together, to some discriminating against service service members. he gave them a deadline, december 10th. with ten days until the deadline there are still some states holding out. the texas national guard for example appears to be flat out defying the direct order from the pentagon. texas is deliberately refusing to process any benefits or any housing allowances or any i.d. cards for service members who are in same-sex marriages. service members in those marriages are being told by texas that if they want the sort of housing allowance that other married couples get and that they're legally entitled to, they have to do it at a federal installation because a state
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installation will not help them. they are not welcome in texas state facilities. wow. and the lone star state is not alone. of the nine states that had been thwarting federal law and refusing to follow the chain of military command on this issue, only four states have come around since chuck hagel gave that blistering speech in new york and gave them a deadline. the rest are arguing that their state anti-gay laws give them reason to ignore federal military policy and give them the right to discriminate between different service members on their own terms. the the lengths the states will go to deny those the rights in the military, it is the state of oklahoma, blows everybody's mind. hard for me to explain how amazing i think this is. governor mary fallon in oklahoma decided to stop oklahoma from processing benefits for all couples, gay and straight, so she can stick to her guns and not give gay couples their rights.
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polls closed, kids! everybody go home. all of our schools, they're now private. wow. because oklahoma has anti-gay marriage laws on the books the governor says she cannot recognize same-sex couples in the national guard no matter what they're in the united states military and subject to federal military policy. every benefit that any married couple is due from the oklahoma national guard will have to be gotten at any one of four federally run facilities. given the choice the state of oklahoma will pass when it comes to treating members of the military the way the military says they ought to be treated. instead of treating anybody -- instead of treating one group with dignity and ungroup with indignity, now nobody gets treated at all. in the state of oklahoma, marriage is canceled because they didn't want to have to offer its benefits, privileges and rights under law to people who are gay, when told that they couldn't just single out the gay people and leave it for the straight people.
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they took it away from the straight people, too. congratulation, oklahoma governor mary fallon, you're about to be way, way more famous than you have ever been before. that does it for us tonight. . good thursday morning. right now on "first look," cocaine and the congressman. major mea culpa in the pursuit of forgiveness and redemption. a-rod's rage. the slugger stormed out of a grievance hearing saying he's disgusted with the abusive process. designer dog. is this the face of the per if he cannily procured pooch? >> and stamping out cancer while making you slimmer. and the women who accomplished the near impossible. i'm mara schiavocampo. overnight congressman trey radel